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Another letter re- Wyoming Model State Emergency Health Powers Act
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March 4, 2004|
These four letters also give information about the anti-terrorism legislation that was being promoted shortly after September 11, 2001. The information in them needs to be known even today, so that we are aware of what the authorities would like to do. Much of what was attempted two years ago has been put into law in our country and state.
January 9, 2002
The Honorable __________
Here are four letters to the editor that I sent to a dozen Wyoming newspapers a month ago. I do not know whether they were printed in them. I will send all four to you at once so that you can have my opinion. I sent you a long letter about one aspect of the Health Powers Act, but these next four shorter letters tell about many other features of the Act. I really appreciate the response I have received from many of you. Please, if you have not let me know what you think of it yet, will you drop me a short line, just to let me know your opinion? Parts of the Act might show up inside of other bills. Thank you.
Susan Pearce Precinct Committeewoman, Republican, Precinct 19-1, Sheridan County FIRST LETTER December 5, 2001
On October 23, the Centers for Disease Control recommended that all fifty states adopt the "Model State Emergency Health Powers Act", an act which is one of the most destructive of our civil rights that Americans are likely to encounter. For a view of all forty pages, please go to http://www.publichealthlaw.net/MSEHPA/MSEHPA.pdf .
An excellent evaluation of this act can be seen at http://www.aapsonline.org . My comments and quotes are from that site and from the Act itself. The AAPS article I used is called "AAPS ANALYSIS (DRAFT): EMERGENCY HEALTH POWERS ACT TURNS GOVERNORS INTO DICTATORS".
The AAPS is the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, of Tucson, AZ. This group of medical professionals is disturbed by the Act for many reasons. It grants governors and public health authorities unprecedented and unchecked powers in the event of an emergency.
Such an emergency would allow officials to force you and me to accept any medical treatments or vaccinations that the health authorities said were necessary. People who would refuse such treatment would be liable for a misdemeanor. If the health authority believes the person who refuses is a threat to "public health, he or she may be subject to isolation or quarantine pursuant to the provisions of this Article." Article V, Section 504 (b)
It would be reasonable in some circumstances to quarantine a person with an infectious disease. However, causing a person who refuses vaccination or treatment to be liable for a misdemeanor is unacceptable.
A person who declines medical treatment or vaccination may be isolated or quarantined. The person has the right to a hearing that will be held within 72 hours of receipt of his written request of the hearing, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays. In the meantime, while awaiting the hearing, he will stay in isolation or quarantine.
AAPS quotes Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation. He said, " Tommy Thompson, whom I have considered a friend for thirty years, should be ashamed of himself for advocating this kind of Big Brother legislation. This is not the Tommy Thompson we knew as a four-term governor of Wisconsin." Health and Human Services is using the September 11 attacks as an excuse to promote an act that has been "in the works" for over one year. The main author is a man named Lawrence O. Gostin, who was a member of Clinton's Task Force on Health Care Reform. According to the AAPS article, it is strange that Secretary Thompson should urge states to adopt a plan that comes out of the most radical left wing of Clinton's Health Care Task Force.
"This law treats American citizens as if they were the enemy," says George Annas, who is chairman of the Health Law Department at the Boston University School of Public Health (San Francisco Chronicle, 11/25/01).
Paul Weyrich said, "If protests are sufficient and if conservative legislators in state legislatures are properly alerted, perhaps there is a chance to beat back this monster."
In my first letter regarding the "Model State Emergency Health Powers Act", I related how the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons feels about the taking away of our delicate system of checks and balances.
I am accepting the suggestion of the AAPS that we spread the word far and wide. My quotes below are from the article called "AAPS ANALYSIS (DRAFT): EMERGENCY HEALTH POWERS ACT TURNS GOVERNORS INTO DICTATORS", which is found at http://www.aapsonline.org .
The AAPS, of Tucson, AZ, states its concern that under the Health Powers Act, a governor could appoint himself dictator simply by declaring a "public health emergency". He "shall consult with the public health authority," but "nothing in the duty . . . to consult . . . shall be construed to limit the Governor's authority to act without such consultation when the situation calls for prompt and timely action." Article III, Section 301 of the Health Powers Act.
The state legislature may not intervene for 60 days, and apparently has no authority to declare that a state of emergency never actually existed. Article III, Section 305 ( c ).
A public health emergency is whatever the Governor wishes it to be. The Act says that it can be an "occurrence" or it can be an "imminent threat" with the cause being anything that involves a biological toxin or bio-agent that might be a "substantial risk of a significant number of human fatalities" or disability. Article I, Section 104 (l).
But what is a "substantial risk"? A substantial risk is undefined in the Act. One in one million, perhaps? The AAPS says that the risk of one in a million is already a figure that is used to justify removal of vaccine exemptions, when speaking of an outbreak of, say, measles with transmission through an unvaccinated child.
Is five cases considered substantial to justify such an emergency? That is the number of anthrax deaths as of the date of the writing of the AAPS article from which I am quoting.
Perhaps smallpox is the most plausible of the threats that is cited to warrant the promotion of such legislation. The AAPS says, "given the nature of the disease and advanced medicine and sanitation, such an outbreak could be contained without any of the radical measures in this Act, just as in the 1970s. (See, for example, 'Super Smallpox Saturdays?' by Michael Arnold Glueck, M.D., and Robert J. Cihak, M.D., http://WorldNetDaily.com, Nov. 15, 2001.) Because of the adverse side effects of the vaccine (including death), more harm than good could be done by an ill-advised, unnecessary mass vaccination campaign."
Patient privacy would be jeopardized because of new reporting requirements.
The Governor would possess broad powers in managing the emergency. The AAPS comment on this is, "He is under no obligation to use scientifically valid methods, or to choose the least destructive method, or to perform any kind of risk-benefit analysis. He may suspend any regulatory statute, or the rules of any state agency, if they would 'prevent, hinder, or delay necessary action.' Article III, Section 303 (a)(1). Among the laws to be suspended would probably be those permitting religious, medical, or philosophical exemptions to mandatory vaccines."
Clearly the Health Powers Act deserves much closer scrutiny. If an organization of medical professionals is saying these things about it, perhaps we need to sit up and take notice.
In my first two letters I commented on the reactions of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons to the "Model State Emergency Health Powers Act". Their concerns are, like those of many people, pretty thought-provoking, making us anxious to alert everyone before the state legislatures meet again.
Quotations are from the same article I mentioned in my two earlier letters. It is called "AAPS ANALYSIS (DRAFT): EMERGENCY HEALTH POWERS ACT TURNS GOVERNORS INTO DICTATORS" and can be found at http://www.aapsonline.org . Other quotes are from the Health Powers Act itself.
In the event of bioterrorism or other health emergency, property or material is to be destroyed if "there is reasonable cause to believe that it may endanger the public health." Article IV Section 401 (b). The State has to compensate the owner of any facilities that are "lawfully taken or appropriated" (Article IV Section 406), but compensation "shall be made only if private property is lawfully taken" Article VIII Section 805(a). If it is seized by an unauthorized agency, then what?
Article IV, Section 406 states, "Compensation shall not be provided for facilities or materials that are closed, evacuated, decontaminated, or destroyed when there is reasonable cause to believe that they may endanger the public health pursuant to Section 401." Like the AAPS says, this is a HUGE exception to the compensation provision!
Who determines "reasonable cause"? The public health authority, apparently. Does "reasonable cause" mean "contaminated"? The AAPS mentions the fact that the Senate Hart Office Building was contaminated with anthrax, but few would say it should be destroyed or fumigated with chemicals that would destroy its contents.
Anthrax contaminates any land on which cattle has lived, according to the late Conrad Chester of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, in a lecture before the 1996 annual meeting of the Doctors for Disaster Preparedness. The AAPS article goes on to say, "The same probably applies to any land that has supported sheep or goats, or any land that has had the wind deposit soil from such an area. In other words, anthrax spores are probably ubiquitous, though at a concentration that very rarely causes any harm. Such harm as was done may have been misdiagnosed by physicians who were unfamiliar with anthrax and not specifically looking for it."
Article IV, Section 402 (a) gives the public health authority the power to procure "materials and facilities" such as real estate if it is "reasonable and necessary for emergency response, with the right to take immediate possession thereof." It appears that the Act would allow the public health authority to use private property as an isolation facility. As the AAPS says, the property could then be destroyed, with the reason being that it is contaminated.
In Article III, Section 304, enforcement is provided by the "public safety authority", who "may request assistance from the organized militia". In Article V, Section 504 ( c ) , referring to people who refuse vaccination or treatment, an order is "immediately enforceable by any peace officer".
"Any physician or other health care provider" would be forced to perform medical exams and/or testing prescribed by the public health authority or face charges of a misdemeanor. Article V, Section 502 (b)
I'm sure there are many people, including a few health care providers, who are as concerned about this as I am. Our state legislators need to take a good, hard look at this emergency document and do some research or they will follow the misguided policies in this Act.
In my previous three letters, I talked about the "Model State Emergency Health Powers Act". The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) rightly feels that the Act would be taking away many of our freedoms.
My quotations are from the Act itself and from an article called "AAPS ANALYSIS (DRAFT): EMERGENCY HEALTH POWERS ACT TURNS GOVERNORS INTO DICTATORS", that is found at http://www.aapsonline.org .
The Act does not hold the people "in charge" accountable. Article VIII, Section 804, concerning liability, will not allow the State authorities or its political subdivisions to be "liable for the death of or any injury to persons, or damage to property, as a result of complying with or attempting to comply with this Act" unless it is a case of "gross negligence or willful misconduct".
The AAPS brings up a good point when it says that terrorists could cause more damage to Americans' civil rights than they could possibly do without this Health Powers Act. With such a policy in force, a terrorist could, with the help of the media and resulting hysteria, cause a scare that would result in the Governor declaring an emergency. Then follows the use of force in order to achieve "safety".
There is a quotation by Benjamin Franklin that fits here: "They who can give up essential liberty for a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
Not only would people be forced to submit to medical treatment, but the Act would also allow the public health authority "to control, restrict, and regulate by rationing and using quotas, prohibitions on shipments, price fixing, allocation or other means, the use, sale, dispensing, distribution, or transportation of food, fuel, clothing and other commodities, alcoholic beverages, firearms, explosives, and combustibles, as may be reasonable and necessary for emergency response." Article IV Section 402 ( c ) and Section 405 (b).
People who refuse to be vaccinated, even though they are not infected, may be quarantined. They would be placed in facilities where they might be exposed to infected persons. This is made apparent with the statement that "to the extent possible", the places will be kept safe and hygienic and "all reasonable means shall be taken to prevent the transmission of infection among isolated or quarantined individuals". Article V, Section 503 (a) The uninfected people who are placed there could be at higher risk than they would be if given the freedom to protect themselves in their own way. Amazingly, this point is brought out by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons!
Can we assume that the public health authorities will be "reasonable"? As the AAPS has several times stated, public health professionals are still requiring children to receive the hepatitis B vaccine even though uninfected children CANNOT give hepatitis B to anyone else and "there is a minuscule risk that he can acquire the disease at school". Yet the parents of an unvaccinated child are told that he will not be allowed to attend school without it.
Suggestions are given in the AAPS article for ideas for state legislators to consider as they grapple with the issue of biowarfare crises. Our legislature should reject the Health Powers Act and take care that our system of checks and balances is not jeopardized.
Sincerely, Susan Pearce
Notice dated January 9, 2002
REVISED DRAFT OF MODEL STATE EMERGENCY HEALTH POWERS ACT (DEC. 21) STILL A
PRESCRIPTION FOR TYRANNY
"The "new" Model State Emergency Health Powers Act (December 21 version) has apparently been modified to remove those provisions that attracted the most dissension. (This version can be downloaded from www.publichealthlaw.net; the Oct 23 version from www.aapsonline.org.) This appears to be a disingenuous effort to mute criticism while making little substantial change in the proposal."
"For example, "firearms" have been deleted from the list of items explicitly named, but could still be included because the list is not restrictive. The intention to seize firearms has already been signaled."
The rest of this article by Dr. Orient is found at the URL above AAPS ANALYSIS.
March 4, 2004|
I sent these letters to many people, including my representatives and senators, two years ago. I was very concerned about the new legislation being pushed for approval at that time. As you know, the topics are still very relevant today.
December 12, 2001
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